Spike Lee on Film, Education, Discrimination, African-American Lives – Black Geniuses (1996)

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Shelton Jackson “Spike” Lee (born March 20, 1957) is an American film director, producer, writer, and actor. His production company, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, has produced over 35 films since 1983. His films: https://www.amazon.com/gp/search?ie=UTF8&tag=tra0c7-20&linkCode=ur2&linkId=e36205b6f17a4db0bd0854710409a65b&camp=1789&creative=9325&index=dvd&keywords=spike%20lee

Lee’s movies have examined race relations, colorism in the black community, the role of media in contemporary life, urban crime and poverty, and other political issues. Lee has won numerous awards, including an Emmy Award. He has also received two Academy Award nominations.

As Lee became more well known and his work and comments were followed more closely, he became embroiled in some controversies. After the 1990 release of Mo’ Better Blues, Lee was accused of antisemitism by the Anti-Defamation League and several film critics. They criticized the characters of the club owners Josh and Moe Flatbush, described as “Shylocks”. Lee denied the charge, explaining that he wrote those characters in order to depict how black artists struggled against exploitation. Lee said that Lew Wasserman, Sidney Sheinberg or Tom Pollock, the Jewish heads of MCA and Universal Studios, were unlikely to allow antisemitic content in a film they produced. He said he could not make an antisemitic film because Jews run Hollywood, and “that’s a fact.”[11]
In May 1999, the New York Post reported that Lee made an inflammatory comment about Charlton Heston, president of the National Rifle Association, while speaking to reporters at the Cannes Film Festival. Lee was quoted as saying the National Rifle Association should be disbanded and, of Heston, someone should “Shoot him with a .44 Bull Dog.”[12][13] Lee said he intended it as a joke. He was responding to coverage about whether Hollywood was responsible for school shootings. Lee said, “The problem is guns,” he said.[14] Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey condemned Lee as having “nothing to offer the debate on school violence except more violence and more hate.”[14]
In 2002, after remarks made by Mississippi Senator Trent Lott regarding Senator Strom Thurmond’s failed presidential bid, Lee said that Lott was a “card-carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan.”[15]
In June 2003 Lee sought an injunction against Spike TV to prevent them from using his nickname.[16] Lee claimed that because of his fame, viewers would think he was associated with the new channel.[17][18]
Lee sparked controversy on a March 28, 2004, segment on ABC when he said that basketball player Larry Bird was overrated because of his race, saying, “The most overrated player of all time, I would say it’d be Larry Bird. Now, Larry Bird is one of the greatest players of all time, but listen to the white media, it’s like this guy was like nobody ever played basketball before him—Larry Bird, Larry Bird, Larry Bird, Larry Bird, Larry Bird.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spike_Lee

Image By José Cruz/ABr [CC-BY-3.0-br (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/br/deed.en) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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